St Margaret College, Secondary School, Verdala  |  (+356) 25985400|smc.verdala.ss@ilearn.edu.mt
Department Activities 2018-10-26T08:46:19+00:00

Department Activities

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St. Margaret College Secondary School students committing themselves to do good deeds on the footsteps of St. Martin of Tours

On Monday, 9th November 2020 a group of students from St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua committed themselves to do good deeds in preparation for the feast of St. Martin of Tours which is liturgically celebrated on November 11th.

First students were invited to listen to a short biography about St. Martin and then they wrote three good deeds respectively committing themselves to exercise these deeds throughout the November month especially.

This project was coordinated by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc who said “It is not enough for today’s young generation to retell the stories of Christian Saints but we need to challenge our youths to imitate the good virtues of these saints in their present lives otherwise the life of Christian saints become meaningless to them”

St. Martin was born in the year 316AD in what is now Hungary and he was the son of a Roman Officer. During his childhood his family moved to Pavia in Northern Italy where St. Martin came under the influence of Christians who worked as servants in his parents’ home. Then at the age of ten, St. Martin became a catechumen (someone who receives instruction about the Christian faith but who is not baptized) but his father feared that this would prevent his son from following the profession of a soldier. At the age of 15, St. Martin was obliged to obey and became a cavalry officer with the Roman Army. In fact it is during this time that the story of St. Martin and beggar occurred. The story says:

One night in an unusually severe winter, Martin met a beggar at the gates of the City of Amiens and, having nothing but his arms and the plain garment of a soldier, he prayed that those passing would have compassion on the naked man.  However, no one came to his aid and so Martin, taking his sword, cut his cloak in two and gave half to the beggar.  That night Martin had a dream in which the risen Christ was wearing half a cloak and telling his angels that Martin had given it to him.

Following this event, St. Martin was baptized and after two years of service he left the army. St. Martin joined the monastic life and in 361 AD he founded a monastery at Poitiers where he lived for ten years.  St. Martin died somewhere around 397 AD.

In Malta, St Martin’s feast is deeply rooted in our history and it is normally celebrated on the Sunday closest to the 11th November, in Bahrija village, where an annual fair and small procession takes place every year.

The following are some good deeds which a group of Form 10 students committed themselves to follow on the footsteps of St. Martin of Tours:

“I commit myself to donate some of my childhood toys to Charity Shops in aid of poor children” by student Keane Mizzi;

“I commit myself to show more respect to others and do not speak against them behind their back” by student Lars Bahmuller;

“I commit myself to help more my mum in her daily house work duties” by student Hayden Agius;

“I commit myself to be more calm when relating with others” by student Tristan Vella;

“I commit myself to be more docile with my family especially with my parents” by student Emrik Rodo and Aiden Vella;

“I commit myself to argue less with my family members” by student Aceline Grixti;

“I commit myself to control my language especially at home and with my friends” by Anon student;

“I commit myself to serve more my parents with love” by student Kayleen Busuttil and Aidan Muscat;

“I commit myself to be more attentive to the needs of others” by student Anastasia Darmanin;

“I commit myself to be less nervous and more patient with others in my daily life” by student Delisa Zammit;

“I commit myself to help all those in need whoever they are and wherever I am” by student Desiree Camilleri;

“I commit myself to listen more to others especially to my family members” by student Elisa Vella.

Thanks to this school project students realized more the need to get familiar with the life of Christian Saints and commit themselves to imitate them with love and virtue.

 

Written by Mariah Vella and Aidan Vella

Students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua, Malta.

 

St. Margaret College students: Mariah Vella and Aidan Vella and classmates together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc committing themselves to do good deeds on the footsteps of St. Martin of Tours – 9th  November 2020.

November 20th, 2020|Religion|

Participation in the online YRE ceremony

On Wednesday, 18th November 2020 Young Reporter’s for the Environment students: Miguel Fenech, Jurgen Xuereb, Jayden Degiorgio and two CCP Science students together with Veteran YRE school coordinator, Mr Martin Azzopardi sdc and LSE Mr Kenneth Abela participated in the online YRE Award Ceremony.

Young reporters for the Environment students (Miguel Fenech, Jurgen Xuereb and Jayden Degiorgio) launched a litter less project campaign in making Paper Roll Angel decorations for Advent and Christmas 2019 and they were awarded an Honourable mention in the category of YRE Article 15-18.

I take the opportunity to THANK especially all my Religion and Science students who participated in these YRE projects in favour of our local environment.  VERY WELL DONE and PRAISE BE TO GOD.

I thank YRE National Coordinator Ms Audrey Gauci for her kind help and support, two foreign correctors who sacrificed their free time correcting our Science and Religion Department YRE project entries 2019 -20 and a sponsor who offered some gifts.

November 20th, 2020|Applied Science, Religion|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students experience a Japanese Tea culture ceremony

On Tuesday, 10th November 2020, a group of Form 4 (Year 10) students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua experienced a Japanese Tea culture ceremony in class. This school project was related to their R.E. study unit about World Religions and it was coordinated by senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc.

This event was held on a Japanese Study Corner supported by the Japanese Embassy in Rome and by the Malta Embassy in Tokyo.

Teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc said, “Experiencing a Japanese Tea Culture ceremony in class was a multicultural lesson to our participating students and it was also a stimulus for further research study about the richness and beauty of Japanese  culture”.

During this event students could observe the various steps required in a Japanese Tea culture ceremony while enjoy the tranquillity and harmony that it entails. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the majority of the students in class could not enjoy the fragrance of Japanese tea but some selected students had this opportunity. While observing social distance, these students did not just drink hot Japanese Tea but learned how to prepare a tea pot with tea from one’s heart. They also learned that every movement, gesture and placement of tea utensils requires harmony of steps and purity of heart. Above all the host of the tea ceremony (in this case the teacher) showed frequent respect gestures towards his guests (the students).

In Japan, a tea culture ceremony is called ‘Chanoyu’, ‘Sado’ or simply ‘Ocha’. In Japanese culture, the ritual of a tea ceremony represents respect, purity, tranquillity and harmony. The origin of Japanese tea culture dates back to the 12th century A.D. and it was introduced in Japan through Buddhism. This ritual was first practiced in Japan during the Kamakura period (1192-1333 AD) by Buddhist Zen monks to remain awake during their meditation sessions.

Normally the proper tea required in a Japanese tea culture ceremony is powdered green tea called ‘matcha’ but St. Margaret College students tasted only leaf tea called ‘senchado’ instead of powdered tea.

Followed steps in a Japanese tea culture ceremony can vary due to different Japanese philosophical schools of thought. However, in every Japanese tea ceremony the following tools are required: ‘Mizusashi’ (cold water container), ‘Furo’ (a small stove), ‘Chawa’ (tea bowl), ‘Natsume’ (tea container) and ‘Kama’ (kettle or tea pot).

During the Japanese tea ceremony held in class, St. Margaret College students were introduced to the Japanese concept of ‘Wabi’ and ‘Sabi’. ‘Wabi’ represents the spiritual experience of quietness and sober refinement while ‘Sabi’ represents the material side of emptiness and imperfection. So through the concept of Wabi-Sabi students had to reflect upon their imperfections and go through emptiness of mind and thought in order to acquire quietness of mind and spirit. This exercise of Wabi-Sabi (embracing human imperfections and make the most of life) was required in preparation for the tea ritual itself but it was exercised throughout the whole ceremony itself.

This was surely a unique experience for all participating students and their feedback was a very positive one with many questions of interest about Japanese culture.

 

Written by

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala Form 4 students: Elisa Vella and Neville Zammit.

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Elisa Vella, Tristen Vella, Kayleen Busuttil, Neville Zammit and Aidon Muscat together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc experiencing a Japanese Tea Culture Ceremony in class.

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Elisa Vella and Neville Zammit together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc experiencing a Japanese Tea Culture Ceremony in class.

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc demonstrating a Japanese Tea Culture Ceremony to a Form 4 R.E. programme class.

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Elisa Vella and Neville Zammit together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc experiencing a Japanese Tea Culture Ceremony in class.

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala student: Neville Zammit and Tristen Vella enjoying a cup of Japanese Tea in Tea Culture Ceremony held in class.

November 20th, 2020|Religion|

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala CCP Science students introduced to the making of Chinese Porcelain

On Monday, 26th October 2020, a group of Form 4 CCP Science students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua were introduced to the making of Chinese Porcelain. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the China Corner at St. Margaret College and this school project was related to the student’s study unit about properties of materials.

Senior Science teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc who coordinated this project said, “The China Corner of our school serves as a Montessori method of teaching to help students learn scientific concepts and knowledge through application and hands on material. It is also a means of inculcating multiculturalism in education”.

The making of Chinese porcelain has a very long history which goes back to the Han dynasty (202 BC–220 AD). Antique pieces of Chinese porcelain are considered as national work of art in China. Chinese porcelain is made from various materials like glass, bone, ask, quartz and alabaster but the main ingredient is a white powder (clay mineral) called ‘kaolin’. The name kaolin derives from a small village in China called Gaoling which is situated nearby the porcelain city of Jingdezhen.

Normally in Western countries we refer to Chinese porcelain as ‘china’ and during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) large quantities of Chinese porcelain were exported through the maritime trade. If Chinese porcelain is made of kaolin, quartz and feldspar it can be extremely durable and last for many years.

The process required to make Chinese porcelain is a long and delicate one with dozens of steps required. It involves the crushing of the raw material, cleaning, mixing, forming the shape, bisque-firing (first-firing step), glazing and final firing.

In ancient China only small number of workshops could be ‘imperial kilns’ as they had to acquire the government consent before supplying pieces of porcelain to the Chinese imperial family. In fact the Chinese Imperial family was offered priority when buying the best items of Chinese porcelain and normally the making of porcelain required the mark of the emperor’s reign and dynasty.

The most famous city for porcelain making is Jingdezhen which is 400 km west of the ancient capital city of Hangzhou – the tea capital city. The porcelain city of Jingdezhen derives its name from the Song Dynasty Emperor Jingde for whom in the year 1004 AD fine bluish-white porcelain was produced.

At the end of this project students could admire some pieces of blue and white porcelain made in the city of Jingdezhen and observe its translucent material.

Teacher Martin Azzopardi and his students offer special thanksgivings to the Malta China Cultural Centre, the China Embassy in Malta and the Malta/Sino Friendship Society for their continuous help and support.

Researched by

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Shezdon Pisani, Celaine Said and Mariah Vella under the supervision of the Senior Science teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc.

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Shezdon Pisani, Celaine Said and Mariah Vella together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc studying the making of Chinese Porcelain.

 

November 20th, 2020|Applied Science|

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